I meant to use this message two weeks ago (Mother's Day weekend), but it didn't materialize. So here is a "belated" Mother's Day Bible study that I believe will bless your heart. It comes from a familiar text: I Samuel 1. It is the story of a woman named Hannah. She is a woman every godly mother should emulate, because she serves as an excellent role model of the moral virtues and qualities of motherhood. Let us look at our text and glean some things that, hopefully, will be of great encouragement to every mother reading this post.
First, note HANNAH’S PETITION AND HER PROMISE
Her heart’s desire was to have a child. Every year, the journey to the house of the Lord in Shiloh became a source of grief; it was a reminder of another year gone by with no child. (vs. 5-10) So on one particular visit, she made a promise, or vow, to the Lord, that if God gave her a son, she would dedicate the child to the work of the ministry as a priest (vs. 11). See here a woman who understood the concept that children are a gift from God, and that they belong to God. It was not unreasonable in her mind, to dedicate her son back to God again, for a lifetime of service in the tabernacle. Cf: Psalm 127:1-3. When we make a promise to the Lord, we must be willing to keep it. Hannah was a woman who kept her word, and lived up to her commitments.
Now, it was on this particular trip to the house of the Lord that the priest Eli saw her sorrow, but misjudged her situation. He thought she was drunk! Finally, he understood her need, the reason for her mumbling prayer, and prophesied the Lord would grant her petition for a son. And note with me Hannah’s great faith. She was “no more sad”, because she believed the word spoken unto her by Eli. It wasn’t the change of circumstances that made her happy, it was her faith! A change took place in her heart before a change took place in her womb. The Bible says: the Lord remembered her (vs. 19), and honored her prayers, her promise and her faith.
Second we see HANNAH’S PATIENCE AND HER PRAISE
For several years of the child’s young life, Hannah did not go up to Shiloh for the yearly worship. (Her husband was concerned she would not go through with her commitment). She assured him that she knew what she promised and when the time was right, she would go up. As a mother, she knew she only had two or three years (until the child was weaned), to have her little boy at home. All of her patient teaching, training and godly influence as a mother had to take place in those first few formative years. Finally, when Samuel was weaned, she went up to the tabernacle and dedicated Samuel to the Lord for the ministry. We see her wonderful words of praise in verse 26: “O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth, he shall be lent to the Lord.” Hannah was not only a woman of prayer, but also a woman of praise.
Third, note HANNAH’S PILGRIMAGES AND HER PRESENT
It is important to note that the story ends the same way it began: yearly pilgrimages to Shiloh, with her husband and no child. But there is one significant difference. God had given her a child and he was now serving the Lord. Could there be any greater blessing for a godly woman?
Think of it, mothers. She got to see Samuel only once each year. And in spite of the very ungodly influence of Eli’s two wayward sons (not a very encouraging environment), Samuel grew up to be a great and godly man—more spiritual than Eli himself. We may attribute his spiritual success, in large part, to a faithful praying mother. Most touching is the present she brings with her every year: a little coat. Never has a mother put so much love, and tears, and care into any project as what Hannah put into her little coats each year. She literally lived her life for that one day she got to see her son, and give him her gift. She truly is an inspiration for every one of you who are mothers!